Last week Dane had a birthday. My baby turned 12! I spent half the day staring at old video’s & photo’s and wondering how it happened. Day-by-day I don’t even notice the changes. This once-a-year-reminiscing shows me just how profound the changes are.

He’s almost as tall as me. Soon I’ll be left in dust, dwarfed by all six. Even Tess. His face is losing the chubby baby-ness and getting the angles and square jaw like brothers. I can still see the baby, but I’m also seeing the young man emerging. It happens in the blink of an eye.

Dane broke a molar the day before his birthday. He spent two hours in a dentist chair on his birthday. But. The whole office sang “Happy Birthday” to him, and he got to pick out a treat. Thankfully he’s still young enough to love the after-appointment toys at the dentist.

After we raced to pick up Tess from school, stopping at the Burger King on base for a milkshake to help ease the tooth (gum?) ache. Sadly, Burger King was all out of milkshakes. But. Tess was there with her entire government class, being treated to pizza by their teacher. And, they all sang “Happy Birthday” to Dane with most of the food court patrons joining in. Sure, he was embarrassed but also happy. I could see it in his bright pink grin.

As soon as they finished their snacks, me finishing Dane’s for him (his mouth hurt), we rushed out the door and to Sensapolis. The indoor playground. The indoor playground with a go-kart track that closes at 16:30 (for Sensapolis guests).  This was all Dane wanted for his birthday. Go-kart racing.

We quickly filled out forms. Ages. Heights. Parental permission. They got their lice-protection hoodies, posed for a quick photo & ran into how-to go-kart training.

Dane & Tess. Professional (go-kart) racers!

Ready player one!


Dane managed three rounds before quitting in frustration. He’s 12. Not 16. Until 16 the go-karts are on a governor. A super slow, no fun, governor. He went faster at Beekse Bergen during Spring Break. Between his tooth, and the slow go-karts he was not a very happy boy.

Luckily a super blue slushie (not pictured) solved both tooth & happiness issues. Soon he found a fun wall to climb and his troubles were forgotten. I’m hoping he never outgrows his love of all the things.

Rock climbing fiends… indoor, of course.